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Thoughts on Brady, Lloyd

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  February 26, 2013 11:20 AM

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A few day-after thoughts on Tom Brady's contract extension:

  • I don't have the final numbers yet but if Field Yates' numbers are accurate ($30 million in existing money rolled into signing bonus plus $3 million of new guaranteed money) then Brady definitely did the team a favor. He didn't take money out of pocket to do the deal, but he definitely passed up a chance to land more.
  • Brady received $3 million in new money to save the team some $30 million against the cap the next two years. He could have asked for more on the backend or upfront to make it harder for them to move on down the line, but he did not. As it stands, the team could cut or trade Brady after the 2014 season and have $18 million in dead money. It's not out of the question that they can handle that over two seasons with the cap going up. After '15 it's $12 million in dead money.
  • Put it another way. Brady, who is still a perennial MVP candidate, received $33 million guaranteed. Drew Brees last year received $60.5 million. Peyton Manning received $58 million. Now, both of those players were free agents so they are going to be more expensive, but Brady could have asked for $40 million or more to help the team out. He did not.
  • Of course, Brady can do that because he makes millions off the field, but that's a totally different topic.

On Brandon Lloyd:

In today's story, I said the following about Lloyd:

Odds are against Brandon Lloyd’s $3 million option bonus being picked up. There is still a lot of internal debate about what to do considering the Patriots literally couldn’t line up tomorrow at receiver. Lloyd’s erratic behavior in the locker room and on the practice field proved tiresome, according to a league and team source. If they cut Lloyd, that would save the Patriots $4.9 million against the cap this season, though there will be $2 million in dead money that can be spread out over two years. The team was smart to build in protection with Lloyd.
  • Nobody should be surprised that we didn't hear anything about Lloyd's behavior during the season. The Patriots are the best at keeping a lid on things in-house during the season.
  • From what I know, I wouldn't say that Lloyd was a bad guy who the team must jettison or anything. It was just the type of up-and-down mood swings that we heard a lot about in his previous stops:
“I know you’ve heard he was good in the building, but he wasn’t necessarily an angel in the building,’’ said the Broncos source. “He wasn’t a good teammate. During games, he was asking the stat person to see how many catches and yards he had at that point in the game when [Kyle] Orton was starting.

“He has that locker room lawyer-type in him. Publicly he’ll say all the right things, but in the locker room he’ll voice his opinion.

“He’s extremely intelligent. Very articulate, very well-read, but there were times when people in the building thought he may be bipolar - and not joking - because he has days where he’s up and ready to go and happy-go-lucky and he’s like, ‘Hey, what’s up? How’s it going?’

“And then there were other days when he was surly and moody, and you just know it’s not a good day to approach him.

“He’s kind of a different cat, I’ll say that.’’

  • You just never know what you're going to get with Lloyd, and either you can deal with it or you can't. For example, talked to one player a few weeks ago that said he was talking to Lloyd about something and suddenly Lloyd said in mid-sentence, "I don't want to talk to you anymore," and put his headphones on.
  • It's one thing for that unevenness to be dealt with in the locker room and on the practice field, but when you combine it with his inconsistent play ... the Patriots love consistency. Anything that disrupts the flow of the season too often becomes a nuisance and tiresome. That was Lloyd. The Patriots don't really do eccentricity well.
  • Now, that being said, it's in the realm of possibility that he is back. There is still internal debate going on about whether or not he can be managed. And the biggest factor is the Patriots don't have any receivers at this point in time. Do they cut Lloyd and roll the dice so they can find receivers other than Wes Welker (if he gets his new contract) that can function in this scheme? Or do they take a known commodity in Lloyd, figure out a way to manage him better, and try again? That remains to be seen. His production (74 catches for 911 yards) is nothing to sneeze at with the way the receiver position has gone for the Patriots. But the odds are that he isn't back.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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